Category Accidents

John Derry & the speed of sound

It was on Monday 6th September 1948 that John Derry became the first British pilot to exceed the speed of sound. The de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen was designed during the late 1940s at its facility in de Havilland’s Hatfield site and was a carrier-based fleet defense fighter that served into the 1970s.  In September […]

A fire on a Thursday evening in 1666

It was late in the evening of Thursday 2nd September 1666 that a disaster began in the streets of London.  It was a small mistake, but with great consequences, when Thomas Farrinor, a baker to King Charles II, thought his fire was out so did not turn off his oven.  However, it appears that some […]

The strange case of Commander Crabb may now be closed

Back on Friday 11th May 1956 we left the British apologizing to Russia over the incident of Frogman Crabb, and three juniors of a department of British Intelligence being moved to other units.  It appeared that the case of ‘Buster’ Crabb was officially considered to be closed. But we asked ‘was it?’ and asked you […]

Britain’s Jet Age of travel begins

It was on this day – Thursday 2nd May 1952 – that the world’s first passenger jet service from London to Johannesburg took off.  It was a BOAC De Havilland Comet Yoke Peter with 36 fare-paying passengers on board. The journey was some 7,000 miles with stops at Rome, Beirut, Khartoum, Entebbe and Livingstone.   At […]

The day that Eddie Cochran died

This year – 2017 – Easter Sunday falls on 16th April.    In 1960, Easter Sunday was on 17th April – the day this then teenager, and many others across Britain and beyond, remember as the day that Eddie Cochran died.  His death, in St. Martin’s Hospital, Bath, came as a result of injuries sustained in […]

Today in 1934 was the day that driving tests began in Britain

UK driving licences were introduced by the Motor Car Act of 1903 but no test was required! In the late 1920s and early 1930s the appalling number of deaths on the roads of Britain was causing considerable concern to the Government and the public. In January 1934, The Times newspaper reported on the ‘slaughter on […]

A Disaster at Sea

It was 50 years ago, on Saturday 18th March 1967, that the Torrey Canyon oil tanker ran aground on Pollard’s Rock in the Seven Stones reef, between Land’s End and the Isles of Scilly. It was carrying 100,000 tons of crude oil and, following the impact, oil immediately started to leak out. The ship had […]